A little more than a month ago, Wizards forward Andray Blatche told Washington fans “If they want to [boo him] every night and we win, I don’t care” and that booing “slims down your shot selection.” As I said back then, these are two great reasons to keep booing Andray Blatche. The Wizards need more wins and Blatche needs to shoot less, so it’s a real win-win.
But now Andray has changed his boo tune (boo-ne). After seven losses in games — including the last two, where Blatche has scored a combined five points following his return from injury — Andray opened up to Bullets Forever about how sad he is when the fans get to heckling.
“It’s tough when you’re at home and people that are supposed to have your back don’t have your back,” he said. “Instead of encouraging you to get better, they actually push you down and make you worse. In the long run, it’s not only hurting me, it’s hurting my teammates.”
“That’s what I feel most upset about because I can’t help out and perform for my teammates, because I’m letting the crowd get into my head and making me second-guess, not let me be the player that I am,” he added. “It’s very frustrating. Hopefully, I’m just trying to fight to overcome it.” [...]
“Any time I’m touching the ball, I’m second-guessing,” he said. “I’m trying to avoid the boos, just trying to play a perfect game so I don’t have to hear it and help my team win.” [...]
“It got to the point now when I came to sub in, the boos are coming. They won’t even give me a chance. So I don’t know, I’m going to continue to try to work. Hopefully, something will happen for me. I don’t know,” he said.
That’s a pretty far cry from the “Boo me if you want” spiel from January, which kind of makes sense. I’m sure Wizards fans are fed up with Blatche, even though he didn’t play for a month, and the fact that they’re still booing even though he hasn’t been the on the court during their recent struggles and returns to boos suggests they’re probably upset he wasn’t playing. Big-time can’t win situation for Andray right there.
It’s clear Blatche needs a change of scenery. He’s the main holdover from the Arenas-Jamison-Butler era, he’s the heart of the Wizards terribleness (JaVale McGee is the very, very public face), and it just doesn’t feel like he should be part of this team. I don’t know if you can say he’s the one thing holding the Wizards back since there are about a million of those, but it’s hard to imagine significant improvements if he’s a big part of their team. Unfortunately for Washington, no one wants him because they are aware of who Andray Blatche is and what he does.
It’s a never-ending cycle. Andray Blatche will keep being terrible, fans will boo him because of it and then he’ll keep being terrible because he’s being booed. Meanwhile, this will all keep happening because no teams are interested in a terrible basketball player with a huge contract, so the Wizards will have to keep him and the fans will keep booing because the Wizards have to keep him.
So I guess, get used to it because there’s no end in earshot. I’m not sure if noise-canceling headphones are allowed in the NBA, but the Wizards should definitely inquire about it.